Complex Made Simple

IRENA finds Solar PV cost-competitive in UAE

Manz to highlight benefits of local production at MENASOL

Electricity generated via solar photovoltaics (PV) has been cost-competitive in the UAE since 2014, according to a study published last month by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST).

This report further finds that increasing the share of renewable energy in the UAE’s energy mix to 10 per cent and electricity generation mix to 25 per cent by 2030 could result in substantial annual savings for the nation totalling USD 1.9 billion.

German engineering firm Manz AG will now further explore the scope for improving the nation’s savings via local production of solar modules through its upcoming participation at MENASOL 2015.

“As a result of plummeting manufacturing expenses, solar energy is now competitive with the wholesale price of electricity, even in the Middle East, where solar power has to compete with naturally abundant fossil fuel-fired electricity generation. Grid parity in the UAE has been a reality for sometime now, and local manufacture of PV components can further supplement the cost-effectiveness of solar energy,” said Mohamed Alammawi, Manz’s vice president of sales for the MENA region.

The aforementioned study also reports that solar is a critical resource for the UAE, alongside highlighting that different forms of solar energy account for more than 90 per cent of renewable energy use in the 2030 renewable energy roadmap produced by IRENA. The report also notes a number of renewable energy technologies – such as solar PV, wind power, and waste- to-energy – are already economic in the UAE above USD 8 per million British thermal units (MBtu), with solar PV potentially competitive with gas prices as low as USD 4.5/ MBtu.

“Solar PV module prices have fallen round 75 per cent since 2008. The current price parity level is a call for energy producers to examine their investment choices. The UAE’s shifting cost dynamics have far-reaching implications across the region,” added Alammawi.

Alammawi will further extol the virtues of local production of solar modules at the manufacturing of PV components session on May 13 at MENASOL, which will also explore the benefits of forming partnerships with local institutions and the latest developments in PV hybridisation.